Rarely do we get confirmation that we are not wanted by corporate America. When I received the email from an insurance company rejecting my profile photo and logo, I had positive proof that corporate giants want no images that corrupt their carefully crafted corporate branding image.
Rejecting My Profile Picture Because It Is Not Corporate Boring and Bland
The rejection of me, Kevin Knauss, started with an email sent to me in error by an insurance company. In early October I received an email inviting me to create an insurance agent web page on the company’s website. For several years I have been appointed with this company to enroll Medicare eligible individuals into their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans.
The specific agent web page would be displayed to consumers in my local region looking for an agent for assistance. As the rules for Medicare enrollments have been tightened – all Medicare Advantage phone calls must be recorded by the agent for 2023 – I thought a little local exposure might help my marketing as a health insurance agent.
I dutifully went to the agent website and started creating my agent profile that included my profile picture and company logo. However, I could not find the link to generate the web page as illustrated in the correspondence. I called the help desk and learned the email invitation was an error. It should not have been sent to me as I had not sold enough of their Medicare plans.
While I was a little irritated at wasting an hour of my life in a futile attempt to create the profile web page, I quickly brushed it off. Then, a couple days of later, I received an email from the same company rejecting my profile picture for the website I was not approved for. That rejection was a real knife in my gut. The picture of me was not good enough for their website.
The official rejection listed the following errors in my life.
Your photo was rejected due to:
– Photo must have a solid color background.
– Photo should be a headshot of the agent, taken from the shoulders up.
– Photo should not be cropped and should not be a “selfie” photo.
– Photo must display professionalism -no props or other items should be visible in the photo (i.e. name badge, cell phone in hands, sunglasses on head).
My profile picture, which I use on numerous social media sites and on my own website, is me. I’m out in the Capay Valley, with appropriate hat and sunglasses, standing in a beautiful field of lavender. Yes, it is a “selfie,” as if somehow that is a bad thing. It expresses my type of professionalism and lack of corporate lacky persona. You will never know how important that smile is on my face.
That smile means I had climbed out of the hole of depression dug, by me, when I became an insurance agent. Selling insurance, from my perspective, is a soul crushing experience. Until I learned how to reset the table where I stopped selling insurance and started educating consumers, did I find a path in the insurance industry. Because, you see, I’m the guy who will take a phone call in a field of lavender to answer your health insurance questions.
Rejection Of My Logo
To reject that image, is to reject me. It is to reject how I approach and conduct business. But there was more rejection to come. Another email from the company said that my logo was rejected because of a tagline. My tagline, which embraces my philosophy to insurance is “Education Before Enrollment.” I suppose I could remove the tagline, leaving a hole in the logo, which is tantamount to drilling a hole in my soul.
All of this rejection was vindication that I made the correct decision years ago to be an independent insurance. Since I’m not a captive agent, I can market the way I want to attract the consumers who want to work with me. There are thousands of insurance agents that all look and sound alike. They all have the same boring head shot that portrays no personality, curiosity, or humanity whatsoever.
I am not angry at the insurance company. Their website is their turf and they can make the rules. Their rules state any agent affiliated with their products must look like a clone of every other agent. This is the corporate brand they wish to portray, a uniformity of people that creates no rough edges to their corporate brand. They will gladly accept all the enrollments I bring to them; they just don’t want the image of me I bring to them.